How to Improve Your Event Using Digital Marketing

People nowadays are living in two parallel universes: the real and the digital. Hence, it’s no surprise that businesses are spending plenty of resources on digital marketing.

A large majority of businesses are investing in digital marketing to achieve a wide range of business goals. From driving traffic to improving engagement, to increasing sales; digital marketing is the go-to strategy.

Businesses are also using digital marketing to promote, manage, and boost the overall user experience of their events.

There is no reason to worry that digital marketing will add to the burden of your already stretched marketing budget. On the contrary, adopting the digital marketing route will make your life a lot easier.

So let’s see how you can improve your event using digital marketing:

Preparing the Ground for the Event Marketing Campaign

The decisions you make at this stage will go far in determining the outcome of your event. Plus, a detailed plan now will drastically reduce your workload later.

Using Relevant Data to Plan the Event

With the amount of event planning tools, event management tools, and event promoting tools available these days, you may be tempted to think that the success of events is a foregone conclusion.

But that’s not the case. Events may fail in their objectives because planners are using the wrong data in their preparations.

Marketers themselves agree that they don’t measure their previous events well enough. Only a small fraction — 18% of event planners — said they measured success accurately, as opposed to 55% who didn’t [1].

Focusing on the wrong data will lead to wrong conclusions.

The data you should collect will depend on multiple factors, including niche, target audience, event type, etc.

So this is what you should do:

  • Write down the data and metrics you need to successfully plan an event.
  • Make a note of metrics that the company leadership, event planners, and marketers need.
  • List how you’ll gather the right data metrics.

This is also the right time to decide the marketing channels and the type of content to use to promote the event.

Create a Landing Page for Your Event

A landing page is essential for both in-person and virtual events. The page could serve as the focal point for your target audience to learn anything and everything about the event.

You can also make the page more attractive to visitors by adding a short video promoting the event.

With simple editing tools, a handful of scenes, a tool like Premiere Pro Presets, and a creative mind, event planners can create promotional videos in no time.

There are plenty of other reasons to create an event page. Top of the list is the ease with which you can track traffic.

By tracking event page activity you can learn which promotional ideas are working and identify areas that need improvement. You’ll know the marketing channels and content types getting the best response.

Create Promotional Content for Your Event

No matter how interesting and engaging your event is, it can’t stand alone in today’s highly competitive environment. You need content marketing to promote the event.

You don’t have to rely only on fresh content for promotional purposes. Suppose you’re in the habit of publishing a blog or releasing a podcast every week. These can be used to promote the event.

Use all your existing marketing platforms to spread the word about your event. If there exists an opportunity to engage your target audience, seize the chance to talk about the event.

It’s equally important to create fresh content. Businesses or event planners too busy to develop promotional content can delegate the task to a digital agency.

When we talk about promotional content, we mean every content type that can make your target audience aware of the event. Promotional content can include blogs, videos, podcasts, ads, emails, etc.

Distribute Promotional Content on Social Media

Want people to talk and spread news about the event? Want your target audience to sign up in huge numbers? Then you should make use of social media at every step of your digital marketing campaign.

There are several places where you can promote your events. You can create event listings on platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Other platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram are also good platforms to promote your events.

Not many non-business people think of LinkedIn when marketing is discussed. The fact is LinkedIn is all about leveraging connections and creating awareness. It’s one of the best platforms to promote any type of event — business or private.

LinkedIn isn’t just about finding jobs. The large professional network is a treasure trove of new potential customers.

You can join groups that deal with issues relevant to your event. You need not be an expert in LinkedIn marketing to make the best use of the platform.

To find relevant groups, hashtags, high profile accounts, create and schedule content, and do a lot more, you can use LinkedIn marketing tools.

Businesses can also use LinkedIn to recruit industry leaders, speakers, media partners, and sponsors.

Similarly, create a separate content creation and marketing strategy for event promotion on other social media platforms.

Employ Email Marketing to Promote Your Event

Email marketing helps you get news of your events directly to your subscribers. With email marketing, there is no fear of losing content in the overcrowded news feeds of social media platforms.

You can use email marketing at every stage of promotion. Even during or after the event you can send video clips, discounts, promo codes, and any new information.

Marketers tend to agree that email marketing is one of the best techniques to promote events. According to Eventbrite, 78% of marketers consider email marketing as the best method. They also attribute nearly 50% of all ticket sales to this marketing strategy [2].

There are several techniques to encourage subscribers to open emails and follow the Call-to-Action (CTA) and sign-up.

An easy and widely popular method is to create short, effective subject lines. Statistics show the ideal length to be around 7 words or 41 characters [3].

To achieve the best results include links to videos in your email marketing. Videos have a magical ability to increase engagement with subscribers.

Email and video marketing statistics show adding the word ‘video’ is enough to increase email open rate by 19%, and the use of thumbnails boosts clicks by 50% [4].

Using Digital Marketing During the Event

Your digital marketing efforts shouldn’t end when the event starts. Use the event day to cast a wider net and generate interest for the current and future events.

Engage With the Target Audience Who Didn’t Sign Up

Do not overlook the section of your potential audience who didn’t attend your in-person or virtual event. Make them your future attendees by showing what they are missing now. Send video clips of the event to your target audience.

In the case of in-person events or seminars, broadcasting the content live on digital platforms can be a great strategy. A study shows that people who watch live videos are more likely to sign up for future events [5].

Share Live Event Updates

Your digital audience is as interested as the attendees. Unfortunately, they couldn’t attend physically, but you must keep them updated with what happens at the event.

As the event unfolds, give regular updates through live blogging. You can also use other platforms such as Twitter or Instagram for this purpose.

Use hashtags to create a buzz around the event. Encourage the attendees to share pictures using hashtags.

Even better, you can create social content using pictures and videos from the venue. The content can be then distributed through blogs and social media posts.

Interact With Your Target Audience

It isn’t enough to inform the audience what’s happening at the venue. To make the event a grand success you must interact with your digital audience.

One way to achieve this goal is to respond to the audience’s comments. In addition, use this opportunity to answer their queries through interactive videos.

Post Event Digital Strategy

It’s the little things that separate the best from the rest. Your marketing efforts mustn’t end with the event itself.

Studying the performance of your promotional activities before and during the event will pave the way for future success. Even the best event planners and digital marketers often fail to focus on the most relevant data.

Focusing on the most relevant data will not only save time but give you an edge over the competition. Here are four reasons to analyze event performance post event.

To Point You in the Right Direction

Events are an opportunity to study your target audience better.

For example, you might find that most attendees are from a particular professional background, age group, or location. This will help you tweak your marketing efforts and focus on areas and channels with the best ROI.

To Shed Light on Audiences’ Preferences

There is plenty to learn from successful events. You can gather information about the pain points of your target audience, the topics that received the most attention, the speakers they enjoyed the most, etc.

Understanding your audience’s preferences will help you find the best speakers and topics for your future events.

To Help You Understand the Audience Better

The era of throwing a wide net and hoping to catch fish is long gone.

With the help of modern technology and tools, you can learn the likes and preferences of each attendee. This data can be then used to create personalized content for marketing outreach for the future.

To Improve the Audience Experience

Use attendee surveys, interaction data, etc. to improve the audience experience for future events. Learn from the data to decrease glitches and bottlenecks that affect the audience experience.

Tips to Improve Your Next Event

  • It’s never too soon to plan. Start planning your event and execute your ideas as early as possible.
  • Launch early bird tickets to reward your loyal audience.
  • For in-person events, select an arresting venue. In the case of virtual events, choose a time and date most convenient for attendees.
  • Monotony will kill engagement. Diversify the speakers to cater to the varied tastes and preferences of your audience.
  • Keep your audience informed about your event. Stay in touch using relevant content that will increase their interest and curiosity.
  • Promise a unique experience and deliver on it.
  • Use event management tools to facilitate the registration process.
  • Boost audience engagement by including video at events.

Final Thoughts

For digital and in-person events, success depends on several factors.

Your large audience network or brand popularity will have little bearing on the success of an event if there is no clear digital marketing plan.

Use the event promotional ideas discussed in this article. The right digital marketing strategy, combined with the right tools, can result in effective promotion and successful events.

About the author:

Cristian Stanciu is a freelance video editor, owner, and post-production coordinator of Veedyou Media — a company offering video editing services to videographers, marketing agencies, video production studios, or brands all over the globe. I can catch up with him on his blog or on LinkedIn.

References:
https://www.eventmanagerblog.com/event-statistics
https://www.eventbrite.com/blog/email-marketing-must-dos-ds00/
https://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/email-marketing/best-email-subject-...
https://www.vidyard.com/blog/video-email-marketing/
https://www.eventbrite.com/blog/livestreaming-concerts-ds00/

This was originally posted on SpeakerHub Skillcamp.

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